I went to a party recently, a wonderfully fun party at a friend's house. Since my family has some dietary restrictions - although the pediatrician has lifted the ban on nuts and shellfish, thankfully - I try to bring something to these affairs that I know my daughter and I can eat. I brought one sweet dish - something I found on B. On a Whim through Pinterest, although I didn't make any changes so I'm not writing up a post on that one. You can find that recipe for yourself here, and you should. It got rave reviews from people who a) didn't know I made it and b) don't like me much, and so had little interest in saying nice things about my cooking. (One quote: "I don't even like chocolate and I can't stop eating this.") The other thing I brought was this. It was also not labeled as my work although it was fairly obvious. Everyone we know knows about my obsession with pomegranates and with goat cheese. I've even posted something similar in the past (here), although, this turned out completely different.
Why did I make something so similar? Well, I got a lot of consumables for Christmas this year. One of those gifts consisted of three pomegranates. These were not just any pomegranates. These were pomegranates the size of my three-year-old daughter's head. I'm not exaggerating. My father in law comes from Greece and cannot recall ever having seen pomegranates this size. They were juicy and they were delicious. I wanted to use one of them for something to share, so a salad seemed like a good way to let them shine. I had the goat cheese on hand - I'd gotten a good deal on it.
What makes this so different from the other? That would be the dressing. Two of the other consumables I received - from different parties - were spices and olive oil. One of the spices was a ras el hanout blend. I'm not sure what went into this particular vendor's blend - every blend is a little different - but you can find any number of different recipes. I used some here, although I didn't use a huge quantity because I didn't want to overpower the pomegranates or the olive oil. Not that I had to worry about that! The olive oil I used was a gift from my sister. Apparently they opened some kind of high-end olive oil store in my hometown recently, and I got a bottle of oil infused with Persian limes. Oh. My. This stuff is incredible. I almost didn't add any vinegar to the dressing, although I wanted to cut the oil just a bit. The flavor really comes through, and it is incredibly delicious.
This salad was a hit too, although its biggest proponent was my daughter. She sat right beside it at the buffet and wouldn't stop eating it. What do you want, she wasn't quite three yet! And pomegranates and goat cheese are two of her favorite things. (I wonder where she gets that...) There is no cost per serving for this dish because so many of its components were gifts.
Pomegranate, Grape and Goat Cheese Salad (serves 10 - 15; approx. cost per serving not available)
1 mammoth pomegranate OR 3 regular pomegranates, arils only
2 bunches of grapes
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoon lime-infused extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or mild rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ras el hanout
- Small bowl
- Combine the pomegranate arils, grapes and goat cheese in your serving vessel.
- Combine the oil, vinegar and spice in the small bowl.
- Whisk to emulsify. If you have a small child to "help" with the whisking be careful not to spill the oil.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.